• All trusts set to use procurement transparency tool by end of 2017
  • Regulator says five trusts yet to start payment process for purchasing price index benchmarking tool
  • NHS Improvement director hints at “next generation” of PPIB

Almost all trusts in England have started paying for a software which aims to identify savings opportunities in procurement, NHS Improvement has said.

In August, all NHS trusts were told to partly fund the purchasing price index benchmarking tool with NHSI, which initially asked trusts to raise purchase orders for the software by the end of September.

PPIB, which shows what trusts across the country are paying for products, has been hailed as a “huge success” by NHSI since its launch in August 2016 to acute non-specialist trusts.

Individual trusts have achieved savings of up to £600,000 through better procurement after using the tool.

However, by the end of October only half the trusts had paid for PPIB, with NHSI setting a deadline of 30 November.

The regulator confirmed to HSJ yesterday that five trusts are still to raise a purchase order for PPIB.

PPIB, which is provided by analytics firm AdviseInc, costs £2,500, £2,750 or £3,250 per trust depending on the size of its turnover.

An NHSI spokesman said: “We are approaching 100 per cent uptake of the tool, which is a fantastic result, and we expect to hit that milestone by the end of the year so all trusts can benefit and save money.

“We expect all trusts to be fully paid up as soon as possible.”

The regulator did not respond to questions about the consequences of trusts missing the 30 November deadline for raising purchase orders.

The contract with AdviseInc for the provision of PPIB ends next summer.

The regulator is working on the “next generation” of PPIB, according to Jeremy Marlow, NHSI’s executive director for operational productivity, who made the comment at the Health Care Supply Association’s annual conference.

HSJ asked NHSI about its plans for PPIB and what was meant by the “next generation”, but the spokesman said the regulator could not comment further.

Last month, NHSI indicated it was planning to develop a “national strategic information roadmap and technology platform for non-pay spend analysis”, which can be used to develop strategies and monitor savings across spend categories.

The information was published in a job advert for a cost improvement programme and procurement implementation lead.